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The appeal of the specifications: what is the difference between iPhone 15, 15 Plus, 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max?

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There was a time when iPhone buyers had only two questions to answer: which color and which storage option to choose. Now, things are much more complicated. Apple sells a number of iPhones at different budgets, and the latest iPhone 15 series now traditionally consists of four models: two “regular” iPhone 15s and two Pro models. If you’re wondering which model to choose or just want to compare the latest iPhones, here’s a full comparison between the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

A picture of the iPhone 15
Image of the iPhone 15 Pro lineup

You may also want to check out our other Spec Appeal articles comparing the iPhone 15/15 Plus with their predecessors and the iPhone 15 Pro/Pro Max with the previous generation iPhone Pro models.

There are four main differences between the iPhone 15/15 Plus and the iPhone 15 Pro/Pro Max: materials, displays, processors and cameras. More affordable iPhone 15 models are made of aluminum, while their more expensive siblings offer polished grade 5 titanium. Apple says that replacing stainless steel in the iPhone 14 Pro with titanium allowed for a lighter chassis without compromising strength and durability. Also, the iPhone 15 Pro lineup includes a renewed case with an easier back glass replacement.

Image of the iPhone 15 Pro lineup

When talking about a case, you should also pay attention to the new action button in the iPhone 15 Pro series. It replaced the old one-time mute switch, giving users a customizable button to activate the camera, record notes, activate accessibility features, or activate shortcuts. The base iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus still use the old mute switch.

Image of the iPhone 15 Pro lineup

Although all four iPhone 15 models now have the Dynamic Island in place of the old notch, there is still a noticeable difference between the screens. The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max support Pro Motion with refresh rates ranging from 1Hz to 120Hz. Another great feature of “pro-grade” iPhones is always on display. “Regular” iPhone 15s still use 60Hz displays without AOD, though their sizes, resolution and brightness match their more expensive siblings.

The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are powered by a newer A17 Pro SoC that offers a 10% increase in CPU performance and a 20% improvement in GPU performance. In addition to raw horsepower, the new processor features a dedicated AV1 encoder, hardware-accelerated ray tracing for powerful gaming, and a USB 3.0 controller for faster data transfer via a USB-C port (other iPhone 15 models have a USB-C 2.0 port).

A picture of the iPhone 15

The last biggest difference between the iPhone 15/15 Plus and the iPhone 15 Pro/Pro Max is cameras. The Pro models have an additional 12MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom (or 5x on the iPhone 15 Pro Max). There’s also second-generation optical image stabilization for sensor shift, macro/video photography, night mode portraits, and Apple ProRAW support.

The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are also better at video recording: you can record ProRes video at up to 4K 60 fps with support for an external recorder. There is also log and ACES support.

Photo of iPhone 15 and 15 Pro

Here are the main differences between the iPhone 15 Pro/Pro Max and the iPhone 15/15 Plus summarized in a list:

  • Difference in chassis materials: titanium in Peru and aluminum in normal models.
  • A new and better processor.
  • Faster screens with optimized refresh rate and always-on display support.
  • Better cameras with dedicated telephoto camera and LiDAR sensor.
  • 1TB storage option.
  • Wi-Fi 6E and dual-frequency GPS support.
  • USB-C 3.0 instead of the slower USB-C 2.0.
  • Longer battery life.
Photo of iPhone 15 and 15 Pro

Now here’s a more detailed comparison of specs:

iPhone 15 iPhone 15 Plus iPhone 15 Pro iPhone 15 Pro Max
display

6.1 inch 2556×1179
Peak brightness of 2000 nits
60 Hz
dynamic island

6.7 inch 2796×1290
Peak brightness of 2000 nits
60 Hz
dynamic island

6.1 inch
2556×1179
Peak brightness of 2000 nits
1-120 Hz
dynamic island
Always on display

6.7 inch
2796×1290
Peak brightness of 2000 nits
1-120 Hz
dynamic island
Always on display
Processor

6 A16 Bionic cores
GPU 5 cores
16-core neural engine

6 cores A17 Bionic
GPU 6 cores
16-core neural engine
RAM TBD 8GB
storage
Main cameras

48MP Wide + 12MP extra wide

Aperture f/1.6 + f/2.4
0.5x / 1x / 2x optical zoom

OIS for sensor shift
Adaptive True Tone Flash
Photonic engine
Deep Fusion
Photography styles
Smart HDR 5 for photos

48MP wide + 12MP extra wide + 12MP telephoto + LiDAR

Aperture f/1.78 + f/2.2 + f/2.8
0.5x / 1x / 2x / 5x optical zoom (Pro Max only)

2nd generation sensor-shift OIS
Adaptive True Tone Flash
Photonic engine
Deep Fusion
Smart HDR 5 for photos
Photography styles
Macro photography
Portraits in night mode
Apple ProRAW

front camera

12MP f/1.9 aperture

Photonic engine
Deep Fusion
Photography styles
Smart HDR 5 for photos
Next generation portraits with focus and depth control
night mode

4K video recording up to 60 frames per second
Cinematic mode up to 4K HDR at 30 frames per second
HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60 frames per second
Slo-mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps

12MP f/1.9 aperture

Photonic engine
Deep Fusion
Photography styles
Smart HDR 5 for photos
Next generation portraits with focus and depth control
Mid night

4K video recording up to 60 frames per second
Cinematic mode up to 4K HDR at 30 frames per second
HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60 frames per second
ProRes video recording up to 4K at 60 frames per second with external recording
Slo-mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps

video recording

Video recording up to 4K at a speed of up to 60 frames per second
Cinematic mode for recording videos with a shallow depth of field (up to 4K HDR at 30 frames per second)
HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60 frames per second
Slo-mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps or 240 fps

Video recording up to 4K at a speed of up to 60 frames per second
Cinematic mode for recording videos with a shallow depth of field (up to 4K HDR at 30 frames per second)
HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60 frames per second
Slo-mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps or 240 fps

ProRes video recording up to 4K at 60 frames per second with external recording
Connect video recording
Color coding system in the academy
Macro video recording, including slo-mo and time-lapse

Connectivity

GSM/EDGE/UMTS/HSPA+
5G (sub-6 GHz and mmWave)
Wi-Fi 6
Second generation UWB chip
Bluetooth 5.3
Emergency SOS via satellite
Crash detection

GSM/EDGE/UMTS/HSPA+
5G (sub-6 GHz and mmWave)

Wi-Fi 6E
Second generation UWB chip
Bluetooth 5.3
Emergency SOS via satellite
Crash detection
Accurate dual-frequency GPS
wire mesh technology

SIM

No physical sim
Dual eSIM support

battery

TBD mAh
20 hours of video playback

TBD mAh
26 hours of video playback
TBD mAh
23 hours of video playback
TBD mAh
29 hours of video playback
ports and charging

USB-C 2.0, MagSafe and Qi2
Charge up to 50% in 35 minutes with a 20W adapter.

USB-C 3.0 (10Gb/s)MagSafe and Qi2
Charge up to 50% in 30 minutes with a 20W adapter.
chassis

aluminum
Pink, yellow, green, blue, black
Mute switch

Grade 5 titanium
Natural titanium, blue titanium, white titanium, black titanium
Action button
price

799 dollars

899 dollars 999 dollars 1199 dollars

The iPhone 15 series will be available for pre-order On Apple’s official website on September 15, 2023, with availability starting on September 22, 2023.

Are you buying one of the new iPhone 15s? Do you go for pro or regular? Tell us in the comments.



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